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Green Dragon Totem Chapter 9 Part2

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It was night, and the Sword-Forging Manor was quiet everywhere. The roofs, promenades, the shadows of the trees and the ponds were enveloped in the inky dimness of night, a light wind lifting the curtains in the darkness, wordless and uncommunicative.

Within a heavy curtain of muslin, Xie Yun suddenly opened his eyes.

A st.u.r.dy and vigorous young silhouette was standing next to the couch, as the moonlight came in from outside the window, it lit up his blood-red hair, and his elegant and demonic profile.

"Cloud Messenger, you're awake." Jing Ling smiled, and from his eyes flickered the cold light of lupine eyes under the moonlight.

Xie Yun's gaze swept past to his sides, and spotted unsettled shadows in the dimness, with at least four or five a.s.sa.s.sins of the Mysterious Demon School in all directions.

He lightly released a breath, and said: "You've got the wrong person." and then made to get up.

Yet at the next moment Jing Ling held the Soul-Stealing Hook pressed against his throat, and forcibly pushed him back onto the couch: "In the corners of the world where do we not meet by chance, why don't you ask me first what did I bring so many people here to do?"

Xie Yun asked: "What are you doing?"

Jing Ling's face was full of malice, as he leant down to Xie Yun's ear, and murmured: "To do you."

Xie Yun laughed, and ridiculed: "If philandering was divided by rank, your distinguished self would be the lowest grade. I had thought that in any case you were the foremost disciple of the Mysterious Demon School, and would be unlikely to stoop to such lacking things…"

Jing Ling asked: "How would it be ranked?"

"Visiting a woman's fragrant rooms in the dead of night, explaining one's true motives, and with mutual consent, may be considered top-quality; though resorting to medicines and force, yet with tenderness and care, enjoying close intimacy and sharing the pleasure of Mt Wu1, could be counted as middle-cla.s.s."

"As for you who do not even dare to rape unaccompanied, and still need to find a few subordinates to watch by the side…it cannot even be considered low-cla.s.s, I reckon that it is the lowest rank. For the foremost disciple to fail to such depths, it seems that the Mysterious Demon School is seriously deteriorating day by day."

The moonlight was reflected in from Jing Ling's back, pa.s.sing through the heavy muslin, to shade half of Xie Yun's body in a silver-white light.

Jing Ling slowly narrowed his eyes: "—so which cla.s.s are you usually at?"

"I don't do such things," Xie Yun lazily said, "There are too many people in this world kneeling to beg for a glance from me."

"Hahaha—"

Jing Ling abruptly laughed, only that the laugh contained not the least bit of joy, and listening only left people shivering entirely: "Spoken well! Sure enough the conclusion of 'a cunning mind' is not false! —All of you stand down."

Jing Ling waved a hand, and the a.s.sa.s.sins in the house corners immediately bowed, and then disappeared into the darkness without a trace. And then his smile vanished, gaze fixed on Xie Yun like a cat presented with a rat, and slowly enunciated: "Then if I tell you, this is not philandering, but is called - revenge?"

Xie Yun said: "I don't remember offending you in this manner."

Jing Ling's pretty face carried that sort of unconcealed expression, mixed with craftiness and cruelty, as the Soul-Stealing Hook gently dug, and tore open the first b.u.t.ton loop of Xie Yun's raw silk gown, exposing naked skin from clavicle to chest.

And then he reached out a hand, but touched nowhere else, but pressed behind Xie Yun's ear.

That little patch of skin was soft and warm, present even at his fingertip, as the pulse steadily thrummed there.

Jing Ling was unable to hold back the suspicion in his heart.

—it was unexpectedly a complete vacuum, without a single shred of internal force.

How is this possible?

Jing Ling's face darkened, and a moment later his fingers traced down the side of Xie Yun's neck, until it pressed on his throat: "Is this a case where someone sealed off your sea of qi2 and kidnapped you, or did you suffer a qi deviation again?"

Xie Yun sincerely said: "Young hero you're mistaken, when did I ever suffer a qi deviation, I am only unaccustomed to physical work and a weak… uu…"

The coa.r.s.e and powerful thumb that Jing Ling had onto his throat abruptly pressed down, and Xie Yun immediately gave a cry, and then his face slowly began to turn red.

"Tell me, what would happen if you were to appear at the Mysterious Demon School like this?" Jing Ling said with great interest: "Should I carefully enjoy you first, before I drag you back to the Mysterious Demon School, and try and see what happens?"

"…"

Water seemed to swell from Xie Yun's eyes, glittering with light in the dimness.

Jing Ling's breath turned urgent, as he slowly stooped down. There was a strong cruelty about his forehead, and under the moonlight his vigorous frame had an ineffable oppression, where upon approach it gave off a great body heat.

Xie Yun lowered his eyelashes, and the hand resting by his side lifted without a sign.

Pa!

The side of Jing Ling's ear suffered a bang, and his brain instantly numbed, his entire person falling without being able to control himself—that happened only in an instant, and his reaction was also very fast, immediately raising his qi to support his body, yet in an instant the Soul-Stealing Hook in his hand had been whipped away by Xie Yun.

Jing Ling gave a hum, his fingers curling into claws before reaching out to s.n.a.t.c.h it back!

Yet Xie Yun seemed to have predicted his action, and at the same time as he dodged, he audibly tapped several major acupoints along the meridians of his arm—Jing Ling's arm instantly sank and was unable to be lifted, enraging him instantly, about to open his mouth to shout, but in the next moment Xie Yun had already turned around and sat on his back, the hook aimed like lightning at his nape!

"Now who is enjoying whom?" Xie Yun ridiculed.

"……" Jing Ling gave a faint gasp. Just now that series of attacks could be described as 'still as a virgin, moving as running rabbit'3, but for an expert learned in a.s.sa.s.sination like himself to fall for it, it was simply…

"What's this called?" Jing Ling asked: "That trick just now?"

This time it was Xie Yun's turn to lean down to his ear, and laugh: "It's called 'real combat experience'. Young man, there are still many things for you to learn."

As he spoke his breath did carry a tepid, slightly moist breath.

Jing Ling gave a deep breath, and suddenly gave a hoa.r.s.e laugh: "Senior, no matter how rich your experience, it is useless before absolute power, don't you know that?"

Xie Yun's gaze sharpened slightly, when in the next moment Jing Ling suddenly raised his qi, his internal force exploded out, and in an instant the muscles on his back stretched taut and he twisted, and at the same moment the hook cut open the skin on his nape and blood splashed out, he had reached out and grasped Xie Yun's wrists!

Ka!

Xie Yun had no internal force to protect himself, and his wrist bones were dislocated, the Soul-Stealing Hook dropping from his hand.

Jing Ling received the hook in mid-air, forcibly tearing out of the suppression on his acupoints, and with a loud bang pressed Xie Yun back onto the couch!

Bang—!

The weight behind that slam could practically fragment all the bones in a body, and Xie Yun's eyes darkened, a drone echoing in his ears, the fishy sweet taste of blood bubbling up his throat, unable to hear anything else for quite a while.

That feeling was akin to the soul leaving the body, he himself did not know if he had lost consciousness, or if he had already fainted and then been awoken by the pain.

A very long time pa.s.sed before he could make out someone speaking by his ear, that sound suddenly close and then suddenly far, but that was only because his ears were filled with blood:

"Who could have thought that you would have such a day…"

"…think about your early years in the Mysterious Demon School, Senior you yourself did not expect this too…"

Xie Yun's chest hurriedly rose and fell, his wrists shaking, as if trying to raise his fingers, yet they were immediately seized by Jing Ling with the fingers trapped in his palms, like a cat grabbing a rat and gradually using more force, until the knuckles gave a gurgle when they gave out under the burden.

"I guess this ought to be low-cla.s.s," Jing Ling said with regret, leaning down.

Right at this time, the window frame abruptly rattled, the entire thing shattering, as a dark shadow flew into the room in a cloud of wood shavings and jade beads, falling to the ground in a crash!

Furniture and decorations were knocked over to the ground, as Jing Ling abruptly turned his head, to see that the figure lying battered and exhausted on the ground was surprisingly his own subordinate who was on guard outside the room.

Following this the door was cleaved open by a sword-air, the door-boards flying through the air towards him, to be crushed by a punch from Jing Ling. Pa.s.sing through various disintegrated silvers of wood, a cold sword glare imminently approached his face—

Clang!

At the moment of life and death, Jing Ling twisted his body and shook his arms, the Soul-Stealing Hook suddenly flying out, heavily blocking the cutting edge chopping directly towards him!

The crash of metal against metal quaked people to wish for deafness, as internal forces collided, and sparks splashed out, two weapons shuddering due to the extreme deadlock, as the blades reflected Jing Ling's darkened eyes:

"Monk, didn't the Buddha ever teach you not to mind people seeking pleasure?"

Shan Chao immediately glanced towards Xie Yun behind him on the couch, only to see 'Miss Long' gathering the lapels of the gown with difficulty to sit up, and his heart immediately decided, as he coldly said: "Benefactor, didn't your father ever teach you that pleasure seeking should be between two people, and that to be occupied only with yourself is asking for a beating?"

Jing Ling raged: "You!"

That sound had yet to conclude, when he abruptly pushed out, only to hear the iron hooks fierce chafing, the hook points unexpectedly streaking across the sabre blade with an ear-piercing sound.

—the sabre had been taken by Shan Chao from the Mysterious Demon School a.s.sa.s.sin just now, and with a scratch from the Soul-Stealing Hook, it actually cracked in an instant, breaking into several sections with a thunderous noise!

Shan Chao did not utter a sound, directly discarding the blade behind him, his entire body instantly withdrawing through the door. As expected Jing Ling had the personality of one born as an a.s.sa.s.sin, already rushing out in close pursuit without any hesitation, up till Shan Chao was in the courtyard with no other retreat, when Jing Ling's whole person leapt forward like a wild beast, rushing directly before him, and at the same time reaching back to retrieve the other Soul-Stealing Hook.

The hooks crossed, aimed straight for the throat, diving from the skies like the scythe of the G.o.d of death:

"Go die—!"

Dang!

It should actually be two sounds, yet because there was barely any difference in time, so it only sounded like one sound.

Jing Ling's pupils contracted, his eyes reflecting two long swords, currently braced left and right against his Soul-Stealing Hooks—

Just at the moment of life and death, Shan Chao rotated both hands, taking out the Longyuan and Tai-E swords crossed on his back, steadily receiving the rock-breaking blow!

The rags around the two swords were torn apart, revealing a large expanse of the white sharkskin scabbards within, and that look actually seemed rather funny.

Yet Jing Ling could distinctly feel the bone-entering ice-cold sword intent within the leather scabbards, forceful and strongly refined, loud and earth-shaking like the morning bells or the evening drums4, yet never-ending like the Long River rushing forth, one wave after another, forcing straight for his heart and veins.

Jing Ling's breath stopped, knowing that it was no good, and ground his teeth as he drew back his hook and flew back in retreat: "—you can't be a monk!"

With a clang he stabbed the hooks heavily to the ground, and borrowed this to steady himself, and yelled: "Which sect or school did you come out of?!"

At the same time in the room, Xie Yun grabbed his own wrist, and with an audible twist, reset the wrist bones.

He let out a long breath of exhaustion, yet that breath had not ended before it changed into a great burst of coughing. The coughing ceased in dizziness after a while before it could be stopped, and Xie Yun gasped as he turned over and got off the bed, composing himself.

Although his fingers were still trembling, but he still carefully, meticulously tied the belt of his robes tightly.

The unfortunate a.s.sa.s.sin from the Mysterious Demon School was still unconscious on the ground. Xie Yun drew a dagger from his boots, and after drawing it from the scabbard saw that the blade was tinged with blue, obviously dipped in poison, before he easily wiped the a.s.sa.s.sin's neck, and got up to head for the door.

—crack! crack!

With every step, his body had a corresponding change: the leg-bones lengthened, the shoulders broadened, and his chest ribs, and waist grew accordingly; his entire person seemed to stretch out, and out of thin air grew several inches!

When the last step fell before the door, his vertebrae gave a crack, as if the last bone had set back into place.

The foremost expert of the Palace, Imperial Guard Commander Xie Yun, took a deep breath, his indifferent profile distinctly highlighted under the moonlight. One hand rose up, reaching towards the door behind which Shan Chao and Jing Ling were currently in direct confrontation in the courtyard—

"Someone come! Fire!"

The house and courtyard abruptly lit up with lantern-light, as innumerable footsteps sounded, a hubbub of screams and alarms rising and falling in succession:

"Fire, fire!"

"Quick! Put it out! Young Mistress is still inside!"

"No! Men, Young Mistress has been burnt to death—!"

Translator's Notes Chapter 9: The two swords and their wielders

On the course of translation, I realised that the selection of these two swords to arm our main characters are actually quite significant.

For one, Seven Stars Longyuan signifies great virtue; it is known as the sword of integrity amongst the ten famous swords of China. Giving it to Shan Chao is practically a character flag for 'trustworthy guy'. Furthermore, in the story it also takes a significance with its Big Dipper motif and a.s.sociation with dragons, which are an imperial symbol ;P.

As for Tai-E, it is also known as the sword of prestige. Its legend highlights the courage to stand against impossible odds and certain death. Putting it in Xie Yun's hands does imply something about his character; unwillingness to lose, prepared to face death and impossible odds, self-destructive methods to achieve victory, and a desire to be famed throughout history.

Let's not forget too, that these two swords are spousal swords on par with Gan Jiang and Mo Ye. Dear readers, keep this in mind before you start shipping characters, hahaha.

- LLS

1 巫山 - a reference to 巫山云雨 'the clouds and rain of Mt Wu', which is an euphemism for s.e.x.

2 气海 - martial-arts term referring to the acupoint where the store of qi in a person's body exists

3 ZH: 静如处子动如脱兔 - an ancient Chinese military expression to describe waiting still for a chance and then counter-attacking.

4 ZH: 晨钟暮鼓 - these two are used to keep time in monasteries, hence they symbolise monastic life.

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Green Dragon Totem Chapter 9 Part2 summary

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